Approaching Mount Kilimanjaro from the southwest, Machame is the second most popular of the Kilimanjaro routes. It is also known as the “Whiskey” route since it is more arduous than the “Coca Cola” (Marangu) route owing to its longer and steeper walks, and lack of sleeping huts. Although Machame is regarded a difficult route, it paradoxically has a higher success rate than the Marangu Route.
Beginning at the south-west side of the mountain, the route takes around six day to complete; however, seven days is advised for a day should spent for acclimatization for safety reasons and for a higher probability of a successful summit. Climbers will sleep in designated campsites in tents. Trekkers have two options to reach Uhuru Peak. Majority of the trekkers choose the long Barafu Trail that offer the scenic view of the Rebmann Glacier. The other route is on the Western Breach Route, which is more thrilling and traverses through Lava tower and the Arrow Glacier.
The Machame Route is a very popular trail probably because climbers experience spectacular scenic beauty and diversity. The trail starts off by traversing through the lush, green rainforest to the moorlands and then to dry and dusty Shira Plateau. After climbing up to the Uhuru Peak in the Arctic climate zone, the descent is made on the steep Mweka Route, which allows trekkers to experience the dry mountain desert and the lowland forest. So, take this route if you want a more challenging and scenically varied trail to the mountain and don’t mind crowds.
|Machame Route - Trek Facts|
|Trek Difficulty:||Moderate To Difficult|
|Trek Duration:||7 Days|
|Max Altitude:||5,895 Meters|
|Best Season:||All Year|
The below is a sample itinerary. It may vary slightly depending on the final trekking agency you choose to go with:
- Day 1: Trek starts and we will go to Machame Camp 4 – 6 hours
- Day 2: To Shira Camp 4 – 5 hours
- Day 3: To Barranco Camp via Lava Tower 4 – 6 hours
- Day 4: To Barafu Camp via Karanga Valley 7 - 8 hours
- Day 5: To Summit and Mweka Camp 11 – 14 hours
- Day 6: To Moshi 3 – 4 hours
Trekking facts for the Machame route in a nutshell
- It is the most popular route -- 45% of climbers
- Heavy Traffic
- Moderately expensive (comparatively) as it starts at a remote location
- It is a very scenic route (and also the reason for its popularity)